Why People Choose a Sunday School Class (Newsletter 4-8)

Why People Choose a Sunday School Class
Elmer Towns

In order to attempt to get pupils into your Sunday School class, you should examine the reasons why people have joined the class in the past. The past motivations that attracted visitors to the class is an excellent door through which you should attempt to attract future visitors to your class. My students at Liberty University have done a number of local church surveys in which they question new members of a Sunday School class asking why they chose that particular class. Leaders of growing Sunday Schools need to know how the unchurched “think” about coming to Bible study so they can use the same appeal in successfully inviting other unchurched people to Sunday School. Too many leaders base their outreach to the unchurched on what “they” desire, rather than on the needs of the unchurched.

The Unchurched Are Looking for Fellowship

The primary reason unchurched people gave for attending a Sunday School was they were looking for fellowship or they attended with a friend. It was a desire for an existing relationship which motivated them to choose a Sunday School class.

The Unchurched Are Looking for Help

A second reason why people say they attend a class is because they are looking for help. The lesson should meet a real or felt need in their lives. Some may want help with a habit or job problem. In one church, a significant number of students chose to attend a class that dealt almost exclusively with resolving marriage and family life related problems. In my class I used the following lessons in April-May 1987 to attract people to my adult Bible class.

The Unchurched Are Looking for What Relates To Their Interest

The third reason people choose a particular Sunday School class relates to their interest in (1) the topic, (2) the personality of the teacher, or (3) the predominant teaching method used in the class (discussion, films, question and answer). As an illustration, a person attends a class on prophecy because he may be interested in learning the identity of the Antichrist. Others might attend a class because they enjoy the teacher’s humor or enjoy the way he stimulates discussions. Another person may attend a class because he likes the method, which means he can be involved in the weekly discussion, or he enjoys the question and answer approach to teaching.

Be Super aggressive in Sunday School Outreach

“Super-aggressive Evangelism” is not a method, it is an attitude that the Christian should have in being energetic and innovative in giving the Gospel to every person. Often the terms “super-aggressive evangelism” and “saturation evangelism” are used interchangeably. However, they do have different emphases. When speaking of saturation evangelism, we are emphasizing the means by which the Great Commission is accomplished. Super-aggressive refers more to the attitude of faith and obedience with which the task is done. If everyone is lost and needs Christ as Savior, and if the Great Commission demands that the Gospel be given to everyone, then the church should be aggressive in obedience, aggressive in faith, and super-aggressive in method. The key to understanding super-aggressive evangelism is to possess, or rather be possessed by a vision of what God can do.


The above article, “Why People Choose a Sunday School Class” was written by Elmer Towns. The article was excerpted from 154 Steps to Revitalize your Sunday School. www.elmertowns.com web site. April 2018.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”